I became a wood artist during and following a career as an immigration attorney and part-time law professor. Starting in my basement and now expanded to two studios in Illinois and Massachusetts, I learned basic woodworking skills from masters at craft schools around the country. Not content with replicating the past, I follow my own path. I can make dovetail joints, but I’m not a furniture maker. I can competently use my lathe, but I’m not a woodturner. I can work with chisels and planes and traditional woodworking tools, but my usual toolbox runs the gamut from chainsaw to grinder to dental drill. When asked to describe my work, my stock response is “you need to see it and touch it.”
I manipulate freshly-hewn tree trunks or laminated blocks of kiln-dried wood to form fundamental shapes that are then textured and (sometimes) painted or stained. Texture, pattern and color drive my sculptures. Yet the essential nature of wood remains.